Questions tagged [etiquette]

This tag is aimed for discussions about etiquette: how to behave on the site and the chat.

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345 votes
14 answers
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How to ask a good question.

How to ask a good question. This thread has advice on the following aspects of writing a good question on this site. Each item in this list links to an answer below about that specific aspect of ...
Willie Wong's user avatar
  • 73.2k
39 votes
2 answers
3k views

Clarify an old answer

Today I went to ask a question, but I discovered that somebody else had already asked the exact same thing. Goody for me, right? Well, the trouble is, the question got several answers, but I don't ...
MathematicalOrchid's user avatar
65 votes
11 answers
3k views

What is the site etiquette about (i) asking and (ii) answering questions in a language other than English?

We have a new user who has recently both asked and answered questions in French. I think we should discuss the appropriateness of this practice. As of 2023, there is a new policy on this.
Pete L. Clark's user avatar
23 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there a shorter and more opinionated version of "How to ask a good question?" that we can direct new users to?

The advice in how to ask a good question is good, but reading through the whole thing takes a while and, IMHO, requires some familiarity with the site to interpret. It also presents the reader with ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
  • 11.7k
21 votes
2 answers
749 views

question edited to change meaning

The question Example of function which is not computable was recently edited by the original poster to completely change the meaning. In particular, the accepted answer is no longer reflective of the ...
Carl Mummert's user avatar
  • 81.7k
15 votes
2 answers
340 views

Retagging after an answer is given

Sometimes a question is asked under a perfectly suitable tag, but is given an answer which is addresses respects strongly related to other tags. What should be the proper etiquette regarding ...
Asaf Karagila's user avatar
  • 394k
24 votes
4 answers
655 views

Editing someone else's question to add context

I recently came across a problem statement question about a block matrix inverse. The original author did not include context, and the question got put on hold. I personally know a lot of situations ...
Nick Alger's user avatar
  • 18.8k
24 votes
3 answers
2k views

Centralized solutions to textbook problems considered harmful?

Recently I've been toying with the idea of going through Crandall and Pomerance's Prime Numbers: A Computational Perspective cover-to-cover, to the best of my ability. However, it's a very difficult ...
Douglas B. Staple's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
1k views

How much (self) editing is too much?

(N.B. not to be confused with this question) We are all aware of editing being a core value of the part-Wiki nature of the Stack Exchange websites. We are also all aware of the website providing a ...
Willie Wong's user avatar
  • 73.2k
118 votes
0 answers
6k views

Main Chatroom Guidelines

Welcome. Hello friends. My online handle is anon, and I will be your guide. Associated with the Mathematics StackExchange is the main chatroom. I am chatroom co-owner alongside current moderator ...
robjohn's user avatar
  • 346k
24 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the etiquette about leaving short thank-you comments?

I left a brief question in a comment, and got a helpful reply, also in a comment. Then I wanted to leave a reply that said "Thank you.", but the comment system will not accept a comment of fewer than ...
MJD's user avatar
  • 65.4k
34 votes
4 answers
3k views

Where is the fine line between using and misusing?

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that we have a no-names policy on the meta. However due to recent events I am sorry to be the one to break it on such a delicate topic. Willie tried to do it without ...
Asaf Karagila's user avatar
  • 394k
19 votes
1 answer
747 views

Is it wrong to ask a user to accept an answer?

I have seen several instances of questions which have at least one complete answer, but none of which are accepted, and no comments have been made to indicate why the user has not accepted an answer. ...
Michael Albanese's user avatar
53 votes
5 answers
2k views

No offense intended, but...

I haven't been a member on here for all that long of a period of time, but I would like to point out some things that I have observed that some may be overlooking. I have visited the site a large ...
Tristen's user avatar
  • 288
42 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it rude to change which answer you accept?

Let's say you post a question, and someone answers it. The answer seems reasonable, so you accept it. Then, later, someone else comes along and provides a much more thorough and detailed response, ...
OctaviaQ's user avatar
  • 1,059
37 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is it okay to never accept any answer?

I just joined MathSE and it's beautiful here, except for the fact that some unregistered users ask a question and never come back. Most of the time these questions are trivial, though they still ...
Aditya Hase's user avatar
  • 8,851
23 votes
5 answers
701 views

About not upvoted, answered questions

A few minutes ago I saw a question with at least two standard answers, I mean, plain answers to the question, without warnings/cautions/etc. The weird thing (at least to me) is that such question had ...
Matemáticos Chibchas's user avatar
22 votes
0 answers
606 views

Cross posting, or flag for migration?

Now that MathOverflow is within a flag for moderator away, comes the question. Suppose that you post a question on MSE, and it's a good question and you get some positive feedback. However nothing ...
Asaf Karagila's user avatar
  • 394k
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Etiquette: How to deal with "spoon feeding" requests?

I gave hints for this question, https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/839401/limit-of-arg-mins/839962#839962 and explicitly told the op they were hints not an answer. I am not expecting to get the ...
Sergio Parreiras's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
938 views

What's the deal with naming names?

Asaf's comment ("No Names policy") on a meta question of mine has kept me wondering: When is it appropriate to identify a user for the purpose of discussion? What benefit is there to a "No Names"...
The Chaz 2.0's user avatar
  • 10.5k
7 votes
1 answer
331 views

edit and rephrase or ask new question?

If neither the commentators nor I (meanwhile) are happy with my question, should I edit it completely or post a new one? (how do I close the fist one then?)
IljaBek's user avatar
  • 376
51 votes
6 answers
6k views

Are answers that have no explanations useful?

As those of you who have been participants in the integration debates over the last few days (see here, for example) may know, we have been essentially debating over the nature of the content we ...
Ron Gordon's user avatar
  • 139k
3 votes
4 answers
616 views

Ban or delay close votes from users who answered a question

Where a user has answered a question, I propose that either that user cannot vote to close the question or the user's close vote ability is suspended on that question for one week ...
zyx's user avatar
  • 35.4k
69 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do we need to avoid to thank somebody?

When I want to comment on an answer that I received for one of my questions, I get the following reminder: "Use comments to ask for more information or suggest improvements. Avoid comments like "+1"...
Julian 's user avatar
  • 1,401
66 votes
2 answers
2k views

Don't review a first question by simply downvoting it or voting to close it

A fair amount of first questions are of very low quality. Even so, I think that it is not correct, when a user gets one such first post from the First Questions review queue, to simply downvote it or ...
José Carlos Santos's user avatar
52 votes
2 answers
1k views

Questions with "accidental" trivial answers

Suppose that you ask a question, and field some answers. After reading them, you then unexpectedly realize that your question admits only trivial answers, due to some edge case you didn't realize you ...
Mike Battaglia's user avatar
41 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is it rude not to reply?

Suppose that I posted, as an answer, a fairly good hint to a question, but the OP still can't solve it on their own, and they ask me for further details. Would it be rude if I did not reply? The only ...
user avatar
35 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it Discouraged to Write 'Thanks' at the end of one's Post?

I recently had my post edited by an MSE member. The editor removed the 'Thanks' I had put at the end of my post. This happened sometime earlier too. Is it discouraged to write 'Thanks' in our posts? ...
caffeinemachine's user avatar
33 votes
1 answer
681 views

Formulating the problem helps solving it -> self answer or delete question?

More than once it happened to me that I got stuck in a derivation. Formulating the question on MSE with nicely formatted TeX and describing step by step how far I got then helped me to get forward and ...
Harald's user avatar
  • 611
28 votes
0 answers
529 views

Retire localized meta.MSE acronyms including PSQ and its variants

Earlier in 2013, for a short time a volcano of postings about basic homework questions took over practically the entire meta.MSE, with the same 20 users rapidly exchanging what seemed to be thousands ...
zyx's user avatar
  • 35.4k
20 votes
5 answers
869 views

Courtesy/Etiquette: Writing an Almost-Identical Answer just After the Previous.

I'm curious as to whether there is some implicit/explicit etiquette re writing an almost-identical answer just a few minutes after a previous one. I'm thinking about the issue in general, but the ...
user99680's user avatar
  • 6,708
18 votes
5 answers
792 views

What is the etiquette for reposting one's own answer?

At one point I wrote a fairly detailed explanation of why equivalence relations on a set and partitions of that set are essentially the same thing. The issue came up in a new question again. The new ...
MJD's user avatar
  • 65.4k
12 votes
1 answer
490 views

Should I delete my answer after OP changed his/her question in an essential way?

The question Confusion of central limit theory was asked recently. After I gave my answer, OP changed his/her question in a way that essentially makes my answer completely useless. In such situation, ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
570 views

Is it inappropriate to turn a proof verification question into a self-answered question?

Over a week ago I asked this question. In it, I proposed a solution and asked for it to be verified, or for an alternative solution to be suggested. Currently, there are no answers but there is one ...
Michael Albanese's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
875 views

Rude comments embedded in user profiles

I have a problem with a particular user's profile, specifically this line: See what's going on with my answers. They take the hints and ideas from my answers and then they down vote and delete them....
Braindead's user avatar
  • 4,999
11 votes
3 answers
666 views

Would you ever favourite a question you down vote?

Today, I came across a user who posted lots of question in 1 area with no attempts on any of them. Many of these were very good questions and have answers. I would certainly benefit from learning from ...
Lost1's user avatar
  • 7,895
10 votes
1 answer
475 views

Questions posted on Math.SE and other SE sites

How should questions that are posted (by the same asker) on Math.SE and another Stack Exchange site be handled? The general Stack Exchange policy is that multi-posting is strongly discouraged. On ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Vulgar Username

I think necessary steps should be taken against the profile https://math.stackexchange.com/users/26920/urine-soaked-pajamas as the user name and avatar are offensive and go against the dignity of the ...
Sugata Adhya's user avatar
  • 3,979
8 votes
2 answers
276 views

Should we encourage proof verification questions to turn into self answered questions?

I am wondering about if it is generally good practice to encourage someone posting about verifying their own proof to instead format their post as a question where they also post an answer? I ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
346 views

Can I change the existing question to a new one?

I have previously asked a question and got the answer but I not got another question which is based on the previous question. How do I post that, should I post another new one or edit the previous ...
Surya's user avatar
  • 123
51 votes
12 answers
4k views

What's the reputation of MathSE among students and more casual users?

StackOverflow has quite the reputation as a toxic site, mostly for being unwelcoming to new users. But what's MathSE's general reputation? For users who are teachers, have you heard any of your ...
Mike Pierce's user avatar
  • 18.9k
48 votes
2 answers
1k views

Has the upvoting really gone down?

For past few days I feel as if upvoting an answer and "answer accepting" (the green tick) has really gone down. I saw many questions with multiple answers with lot of explanation and none of the ...
Vikram's user avatar
  • 5,590
38 votes
2 answers
1k views

"Context" vs. "your work" redux

Recently, we (once again) discussed the practices of requiring context and asking for someone's work on a question. It has been quite an established principle these days that people ought to include ...
Lord_Farin's user avatar
  • 17.8k
36 votes
4 answers
4k views

Rude and Sarcastic comments

I find the comments made by a moderator here to be rude and sarcastic. Though what the OP asks might not make complete sense and needs to rephrase his question in a better way, I believe that it does ...
user avatar
30 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it okay to leave stupid comments?

I have a knack for leaving stupid jokes on a lot of posts. They don't add anything to the question except (hopefully) a little humour. I am not sure if I should leave these comments because they might ...
AvZ's user avatar
  • 1,701
30 votes
3 answers
662 views

Courtesy is a priority?

I looked at a question to be answered and found a number of unpleasant comments to the OP. Apparently he was new, and his formatting wasn't to everyone's satisfaction. If the commenters had wanted to ...
Betty Mock's user avatar
  • 3,532
25 votes
2 answers
831 views

Is too much self editing frowned upon?

I have found myself re-editing quite a bit until I feel a question is right, either I got things wrong (oops) or just get in a perfectionist mode, and have wondered what happens whenever I press the <...
Daniel Buck's user avatar
  • 3,564
25 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it OK to automatically downvote homework questions that show no effort or etiquette?

I have seen a lot of very similar questions here, so I apologize if this is a duplicate. There is a related question at Closing questions that show no effort - official policy? I see this very often ...
Stefan Smith's user avatar
  • 8,192
22 votes
3 answers
744 views

Typing out a short answer, and then editing it

I have observed a very established user (10k+) practicing this: They first write a one line answer to be the first answer, then edit it changing the whole meaning of the answer adding a lot ($10$ ...
P.K.'s user avatar
  • 7,742
22 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to answer a poor quality question?

I recently came across this question posted by a new user which has no context and shows no effort. I left a comment suggesting the user show their work and add context. I also down voted the question ...
Travis's user avatar
  • 3,396